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Librarian, The

Published 1947

Shows the work of different library personnel.

Run time 10:08
Producer Holmes (Burton) Films, Inc.
Sponsor Vocational Guidance Films, Inc.
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W



Pan of bookcases
CU Blind man reading braille
Lots of library interiors



Reviewer: Kevin_J - - February 28, 2014
Subject: Common Threads
I have just begun to explore the Prelinger archives, and this is the first film I looked at. It gives a wonderful, historical glimpse at Library work as it was then. Many things continue in common, but in a sea-change of technology. This film gives a wonderful spectrum about the range of Librarians and Libraries and may serve as a good introduction to the field, useful in teaching, especially as a Social History piece.
Reviewer: BoxfordLibrary - - May 31, 2013
Subject: Cute!
Though it is dated, I'm happy that libraries got their own goofily wholesome mid-20th-century vocational film. Maybe it needs an update. "If you know your Twitter hashtags, librarianship may well become your life work!"
Reviewer: uniQ - - May 4, 2011
Subject: Biased review
For family and personal reasons, I have an attachment to libraries and librarianship.

Admittedly things HAVE changed significantly in LIS, but much of the basics are still true. Note especially the narrators remark that because of good cataloging, the boy who didn't remember the title of the blue book was "encouraged to further use" the library. That's especially true: A good proof of utility to a patron is gold.

Finally, the "actors" speech is blatantly dubbed in and terribly so. I'm taking one off my rating just for that alone.
Reviewer: libtalian - - May 24, 2007
Subject: Some things don't change
Despite being made in the 40's, this film still holds up pretty well. It's nice to know that patrons have not changed in all these years "I'm looking for a blue book". It also does a good job of introducing the various fields of librarianship as well as the different types of libraries in the profession. It also emphasizes the fact that a library director needs to have many of the same skills that would be required in a CEO of the private sector. The section on outreach is poignant as well- in the 40's, they were making pamphlets and films; today, we are posting webcasts, blogs, public service announcements on television, and the like. So although technology changes, the basic principles have remained the same.

And yes, this was shot in the 40's. Times have obviously changed, but it's amusing to see that some reviewers feel the need to post reactionary politically correct commentary (the secretaries are women? The director is a man? The horror!) We get it. Really.
Reviewer: geriola - - May 24, 2007
Subject: The Librarian
Granted the movie is dated. It was issued in 1947. It is extremely valuable from an historical perspective. Plus, it covers the basics. I just graduated this past December, 2006 with my Masters from SJSU. I am in the second half of my life, and this fulfilled a lifelong dream. I am a children's librarian at a small Public Library. I thoroughly enjoy my work, and it has many intrinsic rewards. Being in a small library, I wear many hats. Good show!
Reviewer: ERD. - - December 29, 2006
Subject: Informative for 1947
An informative vocational film for youngsters in 1947. With the advent of the computer, much has changed since then.
Reviewer: The Liberryn - - July 18, 2005
Subject: R U Kidding?
Librarians extinct? You have to be kidding. The need for librarians has never been greater in this age of information overload. Who else to teach where to find it, how to evaluate it, or how to use it? Librarians don't just sit there and look pretty you know. There are plenty of jobs in Libraries and we need more librarians all the time.
Reviewer: The Village Smith - - July 12, 2005
Subject: The Librarian
If you decide to become a librarian because of this film, the profession is facing extinction. Good for the time period and amusing stuff today but surely no one takes this seriously.
Reviewer: Libraria-Massage - - June 10, 2005
Subject: yet another propaganda film corralling women into specific professions...
I'll be the same outfit generated films on teaching, nursing, secretarial work, home ec', etc. *(See a wonder film in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 collection for that!) Lest we forget that this was during the more 'static' period of LIS when leaders in the field thought they had it more or less down to a predictable pattern and therefore they could hand the work over to women to keep up, janitorial style. All the moving and shaking in the field predated this period by about 50 years. You know a field is in trouble, public image-wise, when it starts getting handed over to women... and down the pay goes. It was 1947: I suppose if you, Rosie the Riveter, had just left the factory in recently years, this represented a better career move than just going back home to squeeze out youngin's. (All ironically said: I'm in 2 female dominated fields and my next big life move is squeezing out some youngin's!)
Reviewer: Karma Hawk - - April 9, 2005
Subject: For more information consult your local library...
Unless your considering becoming a librarian I would highly advise you not too watch this movie, sure it has some goofy dialogue ("Well I don't remember the name, but it was blue and it kind of told the whole story you know?") and a narator who, during the first part of the film. attempts to have a conversation with the audience, but overall it's nothing special.
Reviewer: Yoda - - January 10, 2005
Subject: Libraries- America's backbone. I think.
The film was great, but I was especially disappointed about one position not mention- the Library Shelving Aide. Are we not important? The ones who put the blue television book where it belongs. And where would the reference Librarian find the books about blowing up China if not for the shelvers.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - September 26, 2003
Subject: Do you like people? Good.
Do you like books? Good. Then you have the general skills to be a librarian in this simplified instructional film on what it takes to be a librarian. It focuses on the many different types of librarians, and what education is needed. Pretty basic, but this dialogue made me crack up..
Man: "I'm looking for a book on Television:
Librarian: "Do you know the name of it?"
Man: "I Forget. i know it's a blue book, and it's on television."
Librarian: "I think I can help you!"
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